Happy 50th Birthday to me! As promised, here are the before and after pictures. I started the true Gluten Free diet in May 2011 as documented in my post at that time. The following picture of me is from September of 2011. This was 4 months after starting the true gluten free diet and learning traditional food preparation (based on the ideas in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon) through the eCourse I have been telling you all about which I still take weekly! That class was the very beginning of my much healthier diet. In the picture below, I was already losing some weight but you will still get an idea of how much weight I lost overall. I want to stress that I was not concentrating on losing weight and have never been, but rather desiring to minimize the effects of Hashimotos Thyroiditis. I have been seeking health and hoping that with health would come weight loss. And it has sure happened that way!
It’s incredible to be able to report my results so far through my journey on the GAPS Diet after a full year! Mainly because I can’t believe it’s been over a year, but especially as one with Hashimotos Thyroiditis and the challenges that go with it. Those of us with this condition really like to hear how others are doing on their paths, especially when contemplating difficult decisions on diet, doctors, medications, etc. So, this post is going to describe some of my symptom relief as well as any that are left to this point. To be specific, I have been on the GAPS Diet since March of 2012 but prior to that I was juicing for at least one month prior and then was on the true gluten free diet for a year prior to that point. I was getting more and more sick in many ways after I went truly gluten free but the episodes were brought on by other factors. I believe this is because I compensated and found all the “gluten free” substitutes I could to enjoy. I HAD to try them after all. I love to bake and gluten free wasn’t going to stop me from “living.” It was something new to me. But what I didn’t understand was that these foods are even less nutritious than their gluten containing counterparts!
The idea for this post came up when I had a long conversation with my doctor the other day. Yes! I said long! It sounds crazy but this man is so caring, we got to talking about how the Hashimotos Thyroiditis community could be helped in a great way. We spoke about my Facebook Page as well as how he is reaching out to help as many as possible to minimize the symptoms brought on by this condition. One of the most important parts of the conversation for me was that I found myself commenting on how important it is for the patient to take control of their own success. A doctor is not going to fix us. Once this is firmly planted in our heads, the best change can begin. Don’t get me wrong, we need good doctors for guidance but their job is to guide us with their knowledge. It is up to us whether we take the steps and take them seriously.
Do these muffins look harmful to you? Well, if it were gluten, I would say definitely YES, but these were made with coconut flour and no sugar, just grated carrots and apple to sweeten them up. Here’s the problem…I kind of know that I have a problem with coconut products but every time I would try coconut flour pancakes or waffles, I have done okay, although I definitely react terribly to coconut oil and coconut milk. So, as most of us with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis understand, sometimes we just don’t know what we will react to. I named this post Hashimotos Thyroiditis and Persistence because one thing I have learned over the last few years is that persistence is a trait us Hashi’s need to learn. We learn pretty quickly that we can’t just “take a pill” and forget about it. Oh how I wish it was that easy! But on the other hand, if it were, would we have changed our diet for the better? Would we be looking around the Internet on forums, blogs and websites to see what diet best suits our needs for having a thyroid problem? Or would we just “let the pill take care of it”? I’m afraid I would be geared towards the latter of the choices which wouldn’t really be a good thing considering my diet wasn’t very good, especially through my young adult years.
I knew it would come to this someday! What I mean is that after listening to the following podcast, I am so convinced I am on the right road, and this interview with Dr. Peter Osborne really confirmed it, that I know I need to deliver information that is not very popular, but necessary. Are we going to be excited to hear what actually works for Hashimotos Thyroiditis? Probably not at the beginning. But after feeling relief and comfort from just knowing there are answers, it will keep us learning more about how diet can be one of the most powerful healing tools we have. What concerned me the most when listening to this podcast was the honest truth that my thyroid medication might not be keeping me truly gluten free. The filler in mine is corn. I used to be concerned about it but then after listening to other gluten experts, I just stopped worrying when I determined that as long as it wasn’t wheat, rye, barley or oat based, I was okay. But this interview convinced me that it’s time to get a compounded version that steers me clear of all forms of gluten, including that which is in corn, that might still be causing me some problems. Also in this podcast is a LOT of talk about thyroiditis and several callers asking questions I would have loved to ask the doctor myself regarding Hashimoto’s Disease. So I had to share it with you all!
When I was first diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I immediately thought the doctors would have a handle on it and give me the right pill and I would live the rest of my life having control over this disease. Why do you think I thought this? Because I was told by my doctor that a pill would take care of the symptoms and I would live a healthy, long life because of it. That has never played out as true and honestly, I know no one in the Hashimoto’s community who has had that experience either! But, because my doctor said this to me, I spent years believing all the symptoms I was having had to be from “something else” and that I should never question that the thyroid medication might not be controlling my thyroid symptoms, especially since my lab results were “normal.” Boy, was I lead astray. It didn’t help that I had never heard of the condition prior either. I just trusted my doctor which is the way it was for me back then, now about 20 years ago! I sure wish Dr. K’s book was available back then! And as you will find out below, I wish I had access to the supplement I found this year which has really just changed my life and I am not the kind to joke around about that! Keep reading though because I have gone through a LOT to get to that point and I know I had been doing a lot of healing and want to share what I learned before that. Keep in mind as you read this that this is my journey. I am not a doctor and not an expert but I like to think I AM an expert in the suffering Hashimoto’s deals to us as a community and that is why I started my blog and I am thrilled at how far we have come since I started my blog over 10 years ago! It is so encouraging! There is so much more to help the community than when I was diagnosed so if you are a new sufferer, take heart, you have a LOT of support if you just make a point to find the help. So, today I thought I’d take a “snapshot” of the journey I took. It only contains the highlights as most of us know how terrible this journey can be when trying to find anyone to listen. You feel alone as you walk this road without support. That is why I created my support group. Not necessarily for answers, but for emotional support (although there are many resources now available you can find there to hook up to). I want this post to be a “snapshot” of my journey so you can see that nothing usually gets better without trial and error and that you must depend on your desire and intent to get better in spite of what your doctor might be telling you is not related to your disease. Truly, they don’t always understand autoimmune thyroid disease. They look at your TSH and make a determination that you must be fine, not realizing you may have a full blown attack going on inside of you. Here’s my journey in a quick and precise, order of events (with autoimmune disease, there is no real “quick and precises process” so I have made it as precise as possible) which I may go into further in the future depending on the interest level (all the steps below began about 15 years ago and progressed steadily over the last 15 years):